This year-long initiative empowers students in grades 4–8 in the areas of leadership and civic engagement through critical thinking, inquiry, and project-based learning. Acting on the principle that liberty is a right to which every person is entitled, YHOP prepares students to identify gaps in liberty and supports them in making social change in their school or community.
The inspiration for the Young Heroes Outreach Program is the Museum’s Young Heroes Award. For years, this award program has recognized and rewarded students who make a difference in their schools and communities.
In addition to the student-centered approach, YHOP includes comprehensive professional development and support for teachers, who work in partnership with NLM Educators to implement this unique, project-based program in their schools.
YHOP uses a scaffolded learning format comprised of 10 Lessons (discover) and 10 Action Steps (take action) divided into 5 key Phases. The Lessons provide context and allow the students to discover content related to civics, character education, leadership, advocacy, research, and social issues. The Action Steps provide opportunities for students to use their knowledge to take action and make progress through the identification, research, and execution of their Action Project. The Phases organize the content and activities into larger themes or steps and provide opportunities for students and Classroom Teachers to check in and reflect on their progress. At the conclusion of the program, students attend the YHOP Impact Celebration, a year-end gathering of all participating schools, where they showcase their Action Projects to other students, school faculty, family members, community leaders, and sponsors.
What are the goals of the program?
- Teach students the concepts and skills that will prepare them for responsible citizenship and help them to succeed at school, at work, and as contributing members of their communities.
- Guide students in identifying, researching, and acting on social issues in their school or community.
- Embed opportunities for students to apply their First Amendment rights, character strengths, and unique abilities to take constructive action and become positive change agents.
- Foster within students the confidence that, through self-determination and active citizenship, they can be changemakers in their schools, communities, and nation.
What Kind of Teachers Should Participate in the Program?
We are looking for teachers who value character and civic education, believe in the importance of student voice, and feel comfortable implementing project-based learning strategies in the classroom. Teachers should have a desire for students to create high-quality work and make a difference in their world and community. Teachers should be able to have open communication with NLM Educators.
What grades can participate in the program?
YHOP is a yearlong initiative for students in grades 4-8.
What is the time commitment for the program?
Participating classroom teachers will be responsible for facilitating 10 Lessons and 10 Action Steps, ranging from 30-60 minutes each, over the course of the school year from October through May. Some Lessons and Action Steps are co-facilitated with an NLM Educator. These classes be taught once a week or once every two weeks, depending on the preference of the Classroom Teacher and their class schedule. Classroom Teachers are expected to attend 5 Professional Development sessions over the course of the program, each lasting approximately 2 hours and scheduled in the afternoon or early evening.
What is the cost of the program for participating schools?
Thanks to the contributions of many generous corporations, foundations, and individuals who sponsor the Young Heroes Outreach Program, the program is available to Philadelphia-area public, charter, and parochial schools free of charge.
Will participating students get to visit the National Liberty Museum?
Yes. Participation in YHOP includes a guided visit to the National Liberty Museum, virtually or in-person, depending on CDC, city, or school district guidelines or based on school preference. In-person visits will follow all CDC, city, and school district health and safety guidelines.
What will the program look like during COVID-19?
YHOP is conducted in a virtual format, with NLM Educators visiting classrooms via Zoom or other video conferencing platforms. All materials are available digitally to ensure seamless transition between in-person and virtual classrooms, if needed.